Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Apr 2012 19:51 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Very sad news indeed. Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore International and the man behind Atari, has passed away this past weekend. At 83, he passed away, surrounded by family and friends. People like this don't come in dozens, so we lost one of the great men of computing.
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Shame
by bbell on Mon 9th Apr 2012 20:38 UTC
bbell
Member since:
2006-05-04

So sad yet its inevitable that those people who we idolized during our childhood are starting to die of old age.

Ahh the old Commodore vs Atari wars in the early 80's. It was quite something when Tramiel "switched sides" in 1984.

Personally this makes me more sad than when Steve Jobs passed away, since in my case Tramiel/Commodore molded my childhood fascination with computers (via the PET's and my first computer the VIC-20), which ultimately lead to my career in the computer science field.

However I suppose we will not hear much in the mainstream media even though Jack and Commodore helped make the home computer affordable to most people. Since Commodore went bankrupt in '94 history gets written by those that remain.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Shame
by Zbigniew on Mon 9th Apr 2012 21:37 in reply to "Shame"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

Ahh the old Commodore vs Atari wars in the early 80's. It was quite something when Tramiel "switched sides" in 1984.

Isn't it a bit of paradox, that Commodore's "flagship" has been designed by former Atari employees (associates?) - I mean Jay Miner's team - and Atari's "flagship" (ST) has been built by the people (when left Commodore along with Tramiel), that made C-64?

Edited 2012-04-09 21:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Shame
by Kaj-de-Vos on Mon 9th Apr 2012 21:45 in reply to "RE: Shame"
Kaj-de-Vos Member since:
2010-06-09

Yeah, I always told that story. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Shame
by leech on Mon 9th Apr 2012 23:13 in reply to "RE: Shame"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

"Ahh the old Commodore vs Atari wars in the early 80's. It was quite something when Tramiel "switched sides" in 1984.

Isn't it a bit of paradox, that Commodore's "flagship" has been designed by former Atari employees (associates?) - I mean Jay Miner's team - and Atari's "flagship" (ST) has been built by the people (when left Commodore along with Tramiel), that made C-64?
"

I was actually irritated by that. I didn't know until years later that Jay Miner had created both the Atari 8-bit Line and the Amiga Line.

Looking back at it, it was obvious though. I had an Atari 800XL, which I absolutely loved. So many things on that looked fantastic, and I recall my friend having so many issues with his Commodore 64 (remember the speed load cartridge you absolutely HAD to have?)

Well, when it came time for the 16bit systems to come out, I naturally followed the Atari brand, and he followed the Amiga brand. The Amigas were particularly better than the Atari ST in Graphics and Sound. I had managed though to get the Atari Mega STe, which had comparable palette and stereo sound. Alas (yeah, I had to use that word, it's too unused), most software didn't support the extended features of the STe, not to mention some weird compatibility issues.

Now I still have my Mega STe, plus an Atari TT030. But I had to add to my collection an Amiga A4000D, which I've upgraded with PCI and a Radeon + Network card.

Even though it still has the stock CPU, it seems faster than my Core 2 Quad in some ways.

Hats off to you Jack Tramiel, for helping the computer industry along.

Seems Atari only really went down hill after the ownership was passed onto Sam Tramiel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Shame
by Vanders on Tue 10th Apr 2012 09:44 in reply to "Shame"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

So sad yet its inevitable that those people who we idolized during our childhood are starting to die of old age.


I don't know if "idolized" is really the correct word when it comes to Jack Tramiel. Chuck Peddle and Jay Miner, sure, but Jack? Jack was one mean businessman, but he made plenty of mistakes (backwards compatibility issues being the biggest).

That's not to say I don't think Jack was a great man who did a hell of a job with Commodore Business Machines and Atari, but I do believe that if he'd only listened to his engineers a little better, Jack Tramiel could've given Steve Jobs a run for his money!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Shame
by bbell on Tue 10th Apr 2012 14:04 in reply to "RE: Shame"
bbell Member since:
2006-05-04


I don't know if "idolized" is really the correct word when it comes to Jack Tramiel. Chuck Peddle and Jay Miner, sure, but Jack? Jack was one mean businessman, but he made plenty of mistakes (backwards compatibility issues being the biggest).


That is very true. But, I think it is today we idolize the engineers. In 1982 as a early teen I do not remember us knowing of the engineers (remember there was no internet or wikipedia available to us). Most news we heard (through magazines presumably) would always mention Jack Tramiel, or perhaps the name of the marketing person at Commodore that was quoted.

It wasn't until the C128 and Amiga with the easter eggs and signatures in plastic that we learned about those engineers that made it all possible.

Of course now we realize the full story through the internet and great books like "On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore".

Reply Parent Score: 1